Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme - SIMPLEE secures listing with SuperValu

28th March 2013

Food company Simplee secures listing for its entire product range in 65 SuperValu stores nationwide

Edel Cooney, MD of Simplee
Pictured is Edel Cooney, MD of Simplee, who recently completed the Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme at SuperValu’s Head Office in Cork.  As part of the programme, Simplee has secured a listing for its entire product range in 65 SuperValu stores nationwide.

Eleven innovative food companies have recently completed the Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme at SuperValu’s Head Office in Cork. Through a series of highly interactive workshops the programme has given the companies a deep understanding of how SuperValu operates and what it takes to engage effectively with the brand and its independent retail partners.

Now in its sixth year, the programme aims to support food companies to achieve retail listings with supermarkets in Ireland and internationally and has been responsible for the creation of €20 million in new business for indigenous Irish companies.

One such company is Simplee who, as part of the programme, has secured a listing for its entire product range in 65 SuperValu stores nationwide. ‘As a two-year old company it was a fantastic opportunity to grow our brand nationwide and we are very grateful to SuperValu for giving us the opportunity to grow with them’, said Edel Cooney, MD of Simplee, at the programme close.

Simplee was founded in 2011 by Edel Cooney. When she was made redundant from her banking job in 2010, she decided to turn her hobby of creating flavoured sea salts into a new career. She spent a number of months in her kitchen perfecting the range, which now includes garlic sea salt, lemon pepper, sweet and smokey salt and salt free seasoning. She started selling locally to independent shops and butchers in the Cork area and when the opportunity to participate in the Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development Programme came up, she jumped at it.

This Programme gives you a unique opportunity to see how SuperValu really works behind the scenes and most importantly how to align our way of doing business with theirs. The biggest learning for me was getting face to face time in front of buyers responsible for multi million euro portfolios who shared exactly what they wanted to achieve for SuperValu and why. Also the opportunity to network with 10 other businesses in the same boat as me was hugely beneficial’, said Edel.

Edel’s partner in business is her father the renowned Christy Cooney. He retired as president of the GAA April 2012 and then came on board handling logistics and finance for the Simplee. ‘SuperValu is the largest independent retail network in Ireland, so the opportunity from a business perspective was immense. SuperValu is ingrained in the fabric of Irish society and it gives us great pride to now see our products on their shelves’, said Christy.

New entrants to the Food industry are an essential part of its future growth and are an important contributor to achieving the National objectives as set out in Harvest 2020.  ‘The dynamism new start-ups bring to the sector is refreshing and this programme supports them to grow their scale and ambition, while structuring themselves properly for growth’, says Michael Cantwell, Head of Food in Enterprise Ireland.  ‘We are delighted to have Musgraves as a partner, their practical advice and potential market access can be the essential ingredient to these future industry leaders. I am confident that this cohort of companies can reap the benefits from the programme just as previous participants have.The programme itself is a very practical approach giving food companies the necessary skills to deal with multiples and build towards securing a listing’. 

Said Eamon Howell, Trading Director, SuperValu: ‘Supporting entrepreneurship and SMEs is at the very core of SuperValu’s DNA. Aside from the 195 stores which form the SuperValu network and employ 15,000 people directly, we also support more than 600 Irish supplier companies and a further 14,000 jobs indirectly. The Enterprise Ireland SuperValu Supplier Development programme is yet another example of our commitment to creating further employment by assisting small innovative local suppliers get their product to market, to help grow and drive their businesses forward. We know that our continued success is dependent on getting more local products onto our shelves, as consumers not only want to buy Irish whenever possible, but also authentic local food, which SuperValu can deliver like no other brand. Our aim is to ensure our shoppers, can find local products on our shelves, they simply can’t get anywhere else’.

Five other companies from the Programme are currently in negotiations with SuperValu on achieving a retail listing.

ENDS

For further information contact:

Eileen Banks

Enterprise Ireland,
Press Officer

01 7272805

087 2445814

Eileen Banks

SuperValu:

Sue Lamon-Diver

Head of Communications, Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland,

(086) 227 3397